"Ok. They're yours."
With those 3 words, Texas businessman Todd Brock agreed to put perhaps the greatest piece of modern golf memorabilia up for auction.
Offered here are the actual irons and wedges that Tiger Woods used in 2000 and 2001 including capturing four consecutive Major Championship titles - known as the Tiger Slam.
In the 12 years since they first surfaced in the collector market in our 2010 auction, the Tiger Slam irons have been displayed privately in a Houston office complex - appreciated only by the occasional visitor with a passing interest in golf. Over the past several years, we have repeatedly pleaded with Brock to let us showcase them to the world. Yes, the collector market has matured a lot since the dark days of 2010. But it was never about the money, even though these clubs will likely reset the record books. Instead, it was about timing. When was the collector market finally ready to appreciate the value of the very best golf collectibles, and ready to appropriately appreciate Tiger Woods and his position in history.
After winning the 2001 Masters Tournament, Tiger held all 4 Major Championship titles at the same time - what we now call the Tiger Slam. 7 weeks later, at the Buick Classic at Westchester Country Club in New York, Titleist Director of Player Promotions Rick Nelson and Titleist VP of Player Promotions Steve Mata delivered to Tiger Woods the new set of irons and wedges that Titleist made for him. Tiger decided to put the new clubs into play that week, so Nelson brought Tiger's old clubs to the Titleist Tour Van to verify the specs of the new clubs would match his current gamers. Tiger then put those new clubs into play for the first time during the Wednesday Pro-Am that week. And the old clubs? The ones just used to complete the greatest feat on a golf course since Bobby Jones' Grand Slam in 1930? Tiger gave the clubs to Nelson and Mata, and Mata brought them home with him. It was widely known at Titleist, within Tiger's camp, and within the industry that Mata owned the Tiger Slam irons before he infamously put them up for auction in 2010.
This set includes 2-PW Titleist Forged irons and two custom Vokey wedges. The wedges are both stamped "TIGER". The 58 degree wedge is bent to 56 degrees and hand stamped "56*". The wear mark on the face of the 8 iron is otherworldly.
The Tiger Slam irons come with a substantial amount of provenance, including affidavits/declarations of the two Titleist executives both in charge of Tiger's clubs and witness to the exchange when Tiger gave the clubs away. Former Titleist Vice President Steve Mata also took a polygraph test in 2010 regarding these clubs, and passed. We also have a copy of a September 2000 Golfweek magazine article that detailed the exact specs of Tiger's clubs used to win the 2000 PGA Championship, and they match the offered Tiger Slam clubs perfectly, including the 58 degree wedge bent to 56 degrees.
After our past sales of Tiger Woods' backup Scotty Cameron for $393,000, Horton Smith's Green Jacket for $682,000, two Masters Trophies for over $500,000 each, and this week's sale of a 1934 Masters ticket for $600,000, where do the Tiger Slam clubs rank alongside those important items? In our opinion, the Tiger Slam irons are the preeminent golf collectible in the hobby. Whether or not they achieve their deserved seven figure sale in this auction or at some point in the future, we can be confident that these clubs will be one of the most coveted golf collectibles for decades to come, especially as Tiger's place in history is further appreciated in the rear view mirror.
**4/7/22 UPDATE: We have photo matched the Tiger Slam clubs! We have identified numerous photographs of Tiger Woods using these exact irons and wedges during his legendary 2000-2001 season, including the 2000 Open Championship, 2001 Players Championship, and 2001 Masters Tournament. We have added a few of these photos to this auction listing.
2010 Affidavit of former Titleist Vice President Steve Mata
2022 Declaration of former Titleist Director Rick Nelson verifying clubs and corroborating exchange of clubs
2010 Polygraph Results of Steve Mata as to use of clubs in Tiger Slam
2000 Golfweek Magazine article by James Achenbach matching specs of clubs
UPDATE: Numerous Photo Matched Images from 2000-2001 Season